Изображения страниц

No, none;

- none whatever," — answered de Mauny; for the reader must, ere this, have found, that Sir Walter Manny is no other than his old acquaintance, Gaultier de Mauny.“ When I was, as I have just told you, last at Bavay, I inquired of the Baron, but could obtain no intelligence respecting her. Yet would I give-ay, willingly would I so, all the lands I hold in Hainault-all the ransoms I have made in war-and all my fame to boot, to find heror only just to be assured that she ist sell and happy."

Do you then, indeed, still love her to this degree? Hath neither absence, nor the hopelessness of again meeting with her, nor the much business which hath occupied you of late years, sufficed to make you forget this boyish passion?"

Gaultier smiled, and shook his head mournfully. “ Forget her !-- no, not for worlds would I forget it, or her, or any word she ever spoke to me, or any look which did accompany that word; or any foot of earth which I have trod with her; any joy I ever tasted in her presence, or anguish I have suffered since she hath been

lost to me:-no, all and each of them is writ upon the tablet of an undying memory, and is most dear to me.

“ Look you, my Lord,” he continued, after a pause, taking a golden locket from his bosom, “ see what she gave me when last bidding me adieu :-alas, it was a long one! I have had it encased in this golden box, and worn it about me ever since."

D'Artois took the trinket; opening which, he saw a long lock of soft glossy hair, of a light colour, curled up within. Drawing this out, and holding it by the thickest end, which was tied round with a silken thread, the hair fell streaming through the air.

Robert looked attentively at it for some time, and then returning it to Gaultier,—" I must needs," he said, “ think this is beautiful, so closely doth it resemble that of Jeanne's when first I knew her-when first I loved her ;-when she was light of form, and fair in face, as is your Emily. Ah, me!-what have not time and grief brought on!-But,” he continued, “what is the age of the Lady Emily?"

“ Indeed, my Lord, I wish I do not myself justly know what her age may be," replied Gaultier, with some embarrassment.

“ Truly then," answered Robert, laughing, “ I cannot but marvel you should be ignorant of that which doth usually so much interest lovers --the age of your mistress."

There is a natural reluctance in some men to speak of their feelings in love; and to have them generally known and commended by others, seems to them as a sort of sacrilege against the sanctity of the object. Yet there, at the same time, exists in these very persons a strong desire of meeting sympathy; so that to find one who can think and feel as they themselves think and feel, is the greatest happiness which they are capable of enjoying. Thus, de Mauny perceiving that Robert was disposed to listen to him, got by degrees less reluctant to speak of the station which Emily had filled in de Bavay's family, and of the quarrel he had had with his father on her account; so after some more conversation had passed, he informed him that Emily, though nurtured in the Baron's house, and brought up

by him and his dame with as much care and tenderness as if she had been their own child, was nevertheless in nowise related to them—that, in truth, her parentage was unknown, she having been found by the Baron.

De Mauny was thus continuing to disclose all that he had ever heard respecting the infancy of his mistress, and that too with such earnestness, as to prevent him from seeing the changes which came over his companion's countenance at certain parts of the detail: when their attention was suddenly called off by hearing several loud shouts above deck, and then a rushing of persons through the hatches, calling to arms, for that the Spanish fleet had just appeared ahead, and was bearing down upon them.


It is now time to return to Britany, and speak of what has passed there since Jeanne de Montfort dispatched her envoy to the English Court. De Clisson's misfortune, in having been forced into Careg-Crowse instead of landing at Portsmouth, had told heavily for his mistress's affairs; as the delay arising from it, enabled the enemy to collect their forces, and bring them to operate on one point.

Inspirited by their success against Rennes, the Court party resolved to push on the victory with the utmost vigour; knowing, that should they get the Countess into their power, the war would be at once finished, and the English, on

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »